Tag: Timothy X. Troy

Theatre Arts Department Presents “The Sweetest Swing in Baseball”

Four performances of Lawrence University’s production of “The Sweetest Swing in Baseball” by Rebecca Gilman will be staged Oct. 31-Nov. 2 in Stansbury Theatre of the Music-Drama Center.

Performances are at 8 p.m. each night with an additional 3 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Nov. 2. Tickets, at $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

Sweetest-Swing-_newsblogThe play follows Dana, a struggling artist recovering in the hospital from a mental breakdown. When insurance won’t cover hospital bills for more than ten days for a mere depression diagnosis, she devises a plan to extend her stay by pretending to be Major League Baseball player Darryl Strawberry. The other patients in Dana’s ward—an attempted murderer and a good-natured recovering alcoholic—assist her in fooling the hospital staff.

Adopting Strawberry’s persona, Dana discovers similarities between the tragic slugger’s life and her own, fueling confidence in her unique artistic voice. In the play, Gilman, whom Chicago Tribune theatre critic Chris Jones deemed “one of America’s most talked-about and sought-after playwrights,” uses a comedic lens to address serious issues ranging from health care and mental illness to the intersection of art and commerce.

The play was chosen for production in part because of the way it fit into the theatre arts department’s interdisciplinary vision according to Professor Timothy X. Troy.

“We’ve been teaching Gilman’s plays in our department’s curriculum for many years, so we were eager to find a play we could do well in support of that curricular objective,” said Troy, who directs the production.

Madeline Bunke, a senior from Brookfield, portrays Dana, a role that also serves as her Senior Experience  for her theatre arts major.

“Madeline first read the play in class a couple years ago, so she grew with the character long before she even knew she had the chance to portray Dana,” said Troy. “The role is difficult and challenging. We’re lucky that Madeline brings her steely focus, her keen insight and her wide-ranging talents to the role.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Theatre Arts Department Presents Irish Historic Drama “The Plough and the Stars”

Irish playwright Sean O’Casey’s dramatic story on Ireland’s revolt against British rule will be retold May 9-11 in four performances of Lawrence University’s production of “The Plough and the Stars.”

Performances will be staged in Stansbury Theatre of the Music-Drama Center at 8 p.m. each night with an additional 3 p.m. matinee Saturday, May 11. Tickets, at $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors (free to Lawrence students/faculty/staff with I.D.), are available at the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

Written just a decade after the “Easter Rising,” an armed insurrection staged in 1916 with the goal of ending British occupation of Ireland, “The Plough and the Stars” explores the events leading to the uprising as experienced by working-class occupants of a Dublin tenement house. Ten years after the uprising, O’Casey’s poetic portrayal of the still-sensitive subject matter sparked a riot at the play’s 1926 premier at the Abbey Theatre.

“Sudden political changes can spark unforeseen social consequences including divided families, civilian casualties and a crisis of faith in social institution,” said director and Professor of Theatre Arts Timothy X. Troy.”Our production will be thoroughly rooted in the close quarters of a tenement house in Dublin, highlighting the local accent, use of idiomatic language and how people with a variety of perspectives lived in same household.”

Employing both heartbreak and humor, O’Casey’s play focuses on the social and political complexities of the Easter Rising without glorifying violence in the name of freedom.

Junior Erik Morrison, an English and theatre arts major from Denver, Colo., spent the 2012-13 fall term studying theatre in Dublin.  He was cast in the production as Captain Brennan of the Irish Citizen Army.

“It’s great to be able to thank my Irish friends by doing a play central to their history and one that honors what’s best about Ireland and the Irish in times of crisis,” said Morrison. “I couldn’t think of a better play for such a bitterly polarized time in our own country.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Baroque Opera “The Fairy Queen” Gets “Hippie” Update in Lawrence University Production

Baroque composer Henry Purcell’s opera “The Fairy Queen” receives a modern adaptation in Lawrence University’s production of the fantastical tale of romance and magic. The opera will be performed March 1-3 at 8 p.m. and March 4 at 3 p.m. in Stansbury Theatre of the Music-Drama Center.

Tickets, at $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students, are available through the Lawrence University Box Office, 920-832-6749.

Originally written as a “masque” — light entertainment featuring lavish costumes and scenery but nearly devoid of narrative — the opera was inspired by Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”  The story follows four young lovers’ escape to an enchanted forest.

The updated adaptation, written by Professor of Theatre Arts Timothy X. Troy ’85, who also serves as the production’s director, replaces the anonymously written libretto with Shakespeare’s own words.

“I restored the actors’ text to the First Folio version before shaping a narrative that closely followed the story of the young lovers who are tricked in the forest by Puck, the most famous of all fairies,” said Troy.

His adaptation was inspired by the psychedelic cover art of fairies on an LP of English composer Benjamin Britten’s 1973 recording of “The Fairy Queen.” It transports the action to a hippie commune in the woods outside Athens, Ga., immediately after a tornado. The new and modern setting offered creative opportunities for the production team.

Costume designer Karin Kopischke ’80 playfully explores the eclectic fashions of hippie culture of the commune-dwelling fairies against the academic preppy and jockish culture of the quartet of young lovers and their pursuit of true love.

“Karin’s costumes are inspiring, lively and delightful,” said Troy. “She found ways to model the repurposing impulse of the period to create a delightful sense of surprise and individuality to each of the 60 costumes you see on stage.”

Rebecca Salzer, Lawrence Fellow in Dance who served as choreographer for the production, worked closely with a corps of six dancers to blend Purcell’s set dance pieces with popular dance forms from the 1960’s and early 1970’s.

“To support Tim’s melding of times and places in this production — Baroque music, Elizabethan theatre and a 1970’s American setting — the choreography also had to be a mix of styles,” said Salzer. “If you look closely, you’ll see movement inspired by 60’s mods, 70’s funk and even the occasional minuet.”

Because Purcell’s “The Fairy Queen” is considered a “semi-opera” — an amalgam of scenes from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and musical interludes — it presented special challenges and opportunities for Bonnie Koestner, associate professor of music, who served as the production’s vocal coach.

“The masque portions (musical interludes) reflect the mood and general spirit of the spoken scenes, but are not directly tied to a plot line,” said Koestner. “It’s somewhat like the difference between a musical revue with its diverse collection of numbers and a Broadway show like ‘Carousel,’ in which the music really does play a part in character development. Both Shakespeare and Purcell have given us works of genius and if the audience doesn’t worry about the lack of a single coherent plot, I think that they will find it very entertaining.”

Featuring some of the most famous music of the Baroque period with virtuosic arias and complex ensembles and choruses, “The Fairy Queen” offers its audience a stunning variety of vocal talent alongside innovative choreography and compelling acting.

“It’s a delight to integrate the talents of our strongest actors with those of our accomplished singers,” said Troy.

About Lawrence University

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.

Luigi Pirandello’s Tragicomic Masterpiece “Henry IV” Comes to Stansbury Theatre

Four performances of Lawrence University’s production of Sicilian playwright Luigi Pirandello’s tragicomic masterpiece “Henry IV” will be staged Oct. 27-29 in Stansbury Theatre of the Music-Drama Center.

Performances are at 8 p.m. each night with an additional 3 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Oct. 29. Tickets, at $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens/students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

A study in madness, the play follows an Italian aristocrat who, at a historically themed party, is thrown from his horse and comes to believe himself to be the character he portrayed — Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor — setting off a near-20-year hoax, complete with a recreated throne room and attending knights. Di Nolli, the aristocrat’s nephew, pays a visit seeking to fulfill his mother’s dying wish that “Henry” finally be cured of his delusion.

“It’s a great privilege to introduce my students and the larger community to a play that examines such complex questions with humor and striking theatricality,” said Timothy X. Troy, professor of theatre arts and J. Thomas and Julie Esch Hurvis Professor of Theatre and Drama, who will direct the production.

The play features costuming by new department designer Karin Kopischke, a 1980 Lawrence graduate, who mixes the latest Italian fashions with all the trappings of an 11th-century German king.

Senior Kyle Brauer plays the title character madman and sophomore Madeline Bunke portrays Matilda, who spurned Henry’s love before his accident. Senior Hannah Kennedy plays Frida, Matilda’s daughter, whose resemblance to her mother plays a key part in the family’s attempt to restore Henry’s sanity.

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.

The Role of Collaboration in Innovation Focus of Lawrence University Convocation

The importance of collaborations in innovation and problem solving will be the focus of a Lawrence University convocation.

Professor of Theatre Arts Tim Troy

Timothy X. Troy, professor of theatre arts and J. Thomas and Julie Esch Hurvis Professor of Theatre and Drama at Lawrence, presents “Unexpected Collaborators: The Geniuses Among Us” Tuesday, April 5 at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Troy also will conduct a question-and-answer session at 2 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center cinema. Both events are free and open to the public.

Troy was selected for the 2010-11 convocation series as the second recipient of Lawrence’s Faculty Convocation Award. Chosen by President Jill Beck from nominations collected by the Committee on Public Occasions, recipients for the award are selected for the high quality of their professional work.

While innovation is often considered the result of brilliant people making major discoveries, closer examination reveals “the geniuses among us” work closely with colleagues to solve pressing problems and lead us into the future. Troy will examine some of the “rules” he’s learned for productive collaboration in his career working with playwrights, composers, actors, design teams and technicians.

His address will feature two poems: “The Geniuses Among Us,” by Marilyn Taylor and “Sometime During Eternity” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, which will be delivered with Dean of the Conservatory Brian Pertl, Professor of Music Dane Richeson and Associate Professor of Music Mark Urness.

A 1985 graduate of Lawrence, Troy first returned to his alma mater in 1989, serving as a lecturer in theatre and drama for three years. He went on to work with the Milwaukee Repertory Theater Education Department and taught at Augustana College and the College of DuPage before returning to Lawrence a second time on a tenure-track appointment in 1997.

During his career, he has directed more than 100 plays, musicals and operas for both university and professional theatres and has written four plays, including 2010’s “Radio and Juliet.” He was a featured contributor to the 2006 Academy Award-winning documentary “A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin” and directs Lawrence’s “Theatre of the Air” radio drama program. He was recognized with Lawrence’s Freshman Studies Teaching Award in 2004.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence, Troy earned a master of fine arts degree in theatre arts/directing from the University of Iowa.

Tim Troy Play Gets Professional Reading at Minneapolis Theatre

The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis will conduct a reading of Professor of Theatre Arts Tim Troy’s latest play “Radio & Juliet” Monday, March 14 at 6:30 p.m. as part of its Early Stage Reading program.

Tim Troy

The reading, which is free and open to the public, will allow Troy to hear and evaluate this still developing work for a fresh audience. A short discussion follows the reading.

Inspired by Troy’s passion for radio drama and his participation in a 2009 Lawrence-sponsored trip to China to study water resource management, the play takes place in the aftermath of an environmental crisis.

Two citizen classes inhabit the Great Lakes Basin: “Arids” occupy the recently exposed lakebed while “Old Shores” protect the fresh water supply. Juliet falls for a New Shore pirate broadcaster who defies her widowed father, a police detective who protects the endangered natural resources. “Radio & Juliet” re-imagines Shakespeare’s themes in a cautionary tale with shades of George Orwell amid the workings of an elusive crime spree only Juliet can solve.

Written in early 2010, a draft of “Radio and Juliet” was first read last April on campus in Harper Hall.

Classic Czech Opera “The Bartered Bride” Comes to Stansbury Theatre

Four performances of Czech composer Bedrich Smetana’s classic opera “The Bartered Bride” will be staged Feb. 17-20 at Lawrence University.   The comedic tale of match making and marriage will be performed Feb. 17-19 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 20 at 3 p.m. in Stansbury Theatre of the Music-Drama Center.

Tickets, at $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students, are available through the Lawrence University Box Office, 920-832-6749.

Set in a 19th-century Bohemian village, the opera follows the relationship between Mařenka and Jenik. The two are in love, but Mařenka’s father owes a debt to Micha, a wealthy, older man. Micha wants Mařenka to marry his son, Vašek, and he’s coming to town to seal the deal.

“Smetana and librettist Karel Sabina teamed together to craft a romantic comedy filled with plot twists and sibling rivalry,” said Timothy X. Troy, professor of theatre arts and J. Thomas and Julie Esch Hurvis Professor of Theatre and Drama, who is directing the production. “The story reveals that unflappable loyalty and cleverness can overcome even the most intractable adversity. Mařenka’s inner strength and patience prove the perfect complement to Jenik’s quiet but confident ability to trick his superiors into giving the young couple exactly what they want and deserve.”

The second opera written by Smetana, “The Bartered Bride” premiered in 1866. By the mid-1870s, it was arguably the most popular Czech opera of all time — and many would say it still is. Smetana’s operas established him as a founding father of Czech classical music and this brilliant comedy has become a standard in opera houses around the world.

Smetana’s music is rooted in the traditions of Czech folk music, though the appeal of his melodies is universal,” said Bonnie Koestner, associate professor of music and vocal coach for the production. “We will be performing ‘The Bartered Bride’ in an English translation, so that our audience can directly enjoy the wit and emotion of the opera.”

The production also features a lively dance section in each of its three acts.  The dances are choreographed by Monica Rodero, a member of the Milwaukee-based Wild Space Dance Company, which has an artist-in-residency agreement with Lawrence.

“Monica’s setting of the polka in the first act and a furiant in the second act makes a delight for the eye as well as the ear,” said Troy.

The production features a double cast of 50 performers.  Junior Julia Steiner (Thur./Sat.) and senior Cassie Glasser (Fri./Sun.) portray Mařenka while seniors Nik Ross (Thurs./Sat.) and Justin Berkowitz (Fri./Sun.) play Jeník.  Vašek is portrayed by seniors Pat MacDevitt (Thurs./Sun.) and Alex Gmeinder (Fri./Sun.).

Professor of Music David Becker conducts the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra for the performances.

Stephen Sondheim Musical “Into the Woods” Comes to Lawrence University’s Stansbury Theatre

Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning musical of what happens after “happily ever after” is explored in four performances of the Lawrence University production of “Into the Woods.”

The musical will be performed Oct. 28-30 at 8 p.m. with an additional 3 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Oct. 30 in Stansbury Theatre of the Music-Drama Center, 420 E. College Ave., Appleton. Tickets, at $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students, are available through the Lawrence University Box Office, 920-832-6749.

“Into the Woods” blends popular fairy tales such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel with an original story of a baker and his wife, who attempt to reverse a curse that has been placed on them in order to have a child. The musical continues past the typical fairy tale ending to explore ideas of community responsibility and the consequences of one’s actions.

“Sondheim seamlessly weaves spoken words and song in such a way that the audience is carried from one storyline to the next with ease,” said Timothy X. Troy, professor of theatre arts and J. Thomas and Julie Esch Hurvis Professor of Theatre and Drama, who is directing the production. “The final effect is that we witness a large ensemble cast grow from simple storybook characters to people like us, full of contradictions and unable to know what the future holds.”

Troy previously directed a production of “Into the Woods” for Attic Theatre in 1992.

“This has been a wonderful process of rediscovery for me,” said Troy. “I’ve matured and gathered both joyous and challenging experiences like the characters do in the course of the play. My responses to the material have deepened, and my appreciation for Sondheim’s extraordinary skills has equally appreciated since my first encounter with his work.”

Phillip Swan, assistant professor of music, serves as music director for the production, which features a double cast.  Junior Alex Wilson and senior Evan Bravos share the lead role of the baker, while seniors Amanda Ketchpaw and Chelsea Melamed sing the role of the baker’s wife.

The production features guest lighting by Jason Fassl, artistic associate for First Stage Milwaukee and the resident lighting designer for Renaissance Theaterworks, and guest costume design by 2001 Lawrence graduate Emily Rohm-Gilmore.

First performed on Broadway in 1987, “Into the Woods” was nominated for nine Tony Awards and earned Sondheim a Tony for best score. It also earned the New York Drama Critics Circle Award and the Drama Desk Award for best musical.

President’s Matriculation Convocation Opens Lawrence University’s 162nd Academic Year

Lawrence University President Jill Beck officially opens the college’s 162nd academic year as well as the 2010-11 convocation series “Innovation Through Collaboration” Thursday, Sept. 16 with the annual matriculation address.

Beck presents “Expanding Student Opportunities in Research, Performance, Public Service and Environmental Activism” at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The convocation is free and open to the public.

President Beck

In her address, Beck will outline the steps involved in the process of innovation and highlight some examples in which Lawrence is practicing innovative approaches in curricular and co-curricular areas. Joining Beck in the presentation will be Professor of Music Janet Anthony, Assistant Professor of Government and Stephen Edward Scarff Professor of International Affairs Jason Brozek, Associate Professor of History and Pieper Chair of Community Engaged Learning Monica Rico, Associate Professor of Government and Edwin & Ruth West Professor of Economics and Social Science Dena Skran and students Sarah Ehlinger, Joseph Neumann and Katelin Richter.

Beck is in her seventh year as president of the college. Since assuming the presidency in 2004, she has focused her priorities on raising Lawrence’s national profile, increasing the number and spectrum of individualized learning experiences for students, fostering collaboration between the fine and performing arts and the traditional liberal arts and sciences, cultivating a desire for environmental sustainability on campus and in the lives of Lawrence alumni, creating greater diversity in the Lawrence community and engaging alumni, parents and friends of the college to enhance educational experiences.

Other speakers on the 2010-11 convocation schedule include:

• Oct. 5, 2010 — Ray Suarez, senior correspondent for “The NewsHour” on PBS, “The Browning of America.”

• Feb. 8, 2011 — Mary Jane Jacob, executive director of exhibitions and exhibition studies, 
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, “The Collective Creative Process.”

• April 5, 2011 — Timothy X. Troy ’85, Professor of Theatre Arts and J. Thomas and Julie Esch Hurvis Professor of Theatre and Drama, Lawrence University, “Unexpected Collaborators: The Geniuses Among Us.”

• May 17, 2011 — Sara Quandt ’73, professor, department of epidemiology and prevention, division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, “It Takes a Community: Collaborating to Reduce Health Disparities in the U.S.”

Stage Reading Features New Play by Lawrence University Professor Tim Troy

A staged reading of a new play written by Lawrence University Professor of Theatre Arts and J. Thomas and Julie Esch Hurvis Professor of Theatre and Drama Timothy X. Troy will be held Tuesday, April 6 at 7 p.m. in Harper Hall. The reading is free and open to the public.

“Radio and Juliet” is a cautionary tale that incorporates Shakespearean themes with shades of George Orwell and 1950’s science fiction amid the workings of an elusive crime spree only Juliet can solve.

It centers around an environmental crisis that forces the government to create two classes of citizens: the resettled Arids, who occupy the recently exposed lake bed of the Great Lakes and the Old Shores, who protect what remains of the fresh water supply. Juliet is on the eve of reaching adulthood when she falls in love with an Arid pirate broadcaster who challenges the assumptions upon which her culture depends.

The three-character reading features Lawrence junior Erika Thiede as Juliet and professional actors from the American Players Theatre and the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.

The reading, a preliminary step before being staged as a full production, will feature actors reading from music stands with minimal props. Following the reading, the audience will be invited to participate in a group discussion to offer feedback on the plot or characters.

Troy began working on the project in 2006 and completed it earlier this year while on sabbatical. Last December he participated in a Lawrence-sponsored study tour of China that examined environmental and water policy issues with 12 students and colleagues from the economics and geology departments. Many of the themes explored in “Radio and Juliet” grew out of his China trip experiences.